mrtnz_convoy_picIt is seldom that I have an opportunity to write about the good things El Paso has to offer. In this case, not only is the topic close and dear to me it is also an opportunity to dispel the myth that the United States does not want immigrants. That the hate group “Border Convoywas expelled from El Paso was just icing on the cake. As most of you are aware, a group of self-style “coalition of citizens who share a deep concern for the invasion currently happening unchecked” at the border, decided to convoy from Murrieta, California to McAllen, Texas. Their website states that they are hoping to “encourage communities to rise up and take a stand against unconstitutional federal incursions”. Although unwritten on the public relations materials, the “incursions” they refer to are the undocumented aliens coming into the country.

Unfortunately for the Border Convoy, although they expected a welcoming community on the border for their message what they got, instead, was a group of individuals pointing out their hate-filled message. Instead of their planned rally, they, instead, had to rely on the El Paso Police Department to escort them out of the city to ensure peace was maintained in light of their hate-led tour.

Because the group is attempting to distort the public message in order to keep their lie alive, I thought it important to give you a firsthand account of what actually transpired in El Paso. As you know I am not living in El Paso, therefore I was not able to personally witness the events.

Instead, Rosemary P. Martinez, who was actively involved in stopping the convoy from delivering their hate has graciously accepted to share with us her first person account of what happened. Miguel Juárez who was the second driver in the incident also contributed to this account independently of Martinez.

Rosemary Martinez writes that on August 3, 2014, she and her husband were having dinner at L&J with some friends. After dropping off their friends, they received a call from another friend who informed them that the Border Convoy had been spotted leaving Las Cruces and headed to El Paso. Although Miguel Juárez was under the impression that the convoy had decided not to go to El Paso, he and his wife inadvertently saw them on I10 as they were returning from Las Cruces. Juárez adds that they lost them after pulling over to gas up their vehicle and after not finding them at the scheduled rally point in El Paso they headed towards the freeway.

Martinez wrote that at about 5:30 in the afternoon they joined up to the convoy headed east on I10. Martinez describes the convoy as driving erratically and interfering with the traffic flow. Martinez’ group, of two vehicles, decided to follow the convoy to see if they were going to hold a rally or if not follow them to the county line. Juárez was in the second vehicle with his wife.

Rosemary adds that it appeared to her that the convoy seemed lost and stopped on Trowbridge, next to the refinery. As they waited for the convoy to continue, Martinez writes that she was informed by Juárez and his wife that a “guy with a rifle” walked towards her friends. Miguel Juárez writes of the incident that it seemed to him that the convoy had purposely boxed in Martinez’ car near Western Refinery and he became concerned for Rosemary and her husband. Because of this, they “waited about 40 feet away” from the stopped convoy. At this point, Juárez writes that a “heavy-set bearded” exited a “white sedan with Arizona plates” and came up to them holding a rifle and asked Juárez and his wife if they were following them. Juárez replied “no”. Juárez then writes that the rifle-toting man told them “then you best get going”. Juárez and his wife proceeded to join up with Martinez’ vehicle.

Martinez, in her account, wrote that she asked her friends to call 911 as both vehicles got together for safety. Rosemary Martinez added that she witnessed the individual with what appeared to her to be a “barrel of a gun”.

A few minutes later, the convoy proceeded to return to the freeway. Martinez writes that “at approximately the Yarbrough exit” there was an “attempt to remove” them from the convoy. Martinez provided a link to a Youtube video showing the incident. The Youtube video appears to have been filmed by a member of the convoy riding in an RV.


Accepting that the video was filmed by the RV in the convoy you can clearly see how the black pickup truck was dangerously surrounded by members of the convoy. Looking closely you will notice that the RV, filming the event, was on the emergency lane of the highway. Further, look closely at the flag-wrapped vehicle to the left of the pickup and you will notice that there is an individual hanging out of the passenger window holding what appears to be a camera.

Not only are these two actions a serious violation of the traffic laws and are dangerous to all traffic in the vicinity, they are also a threatening action directed at the pickup.

At this point, Martinez writes that the flag-wrapped vehicle was pulled over by an El Paso police unit, Martinez and her husband pulled over in order to press charges against the two drivers. Martinez writes that she witnessed at least one vehicle with an armed individual in it. Juárez, in his account writes that they encountered an El Paso Police vehicle on North Loop, which they flagged down to report they had been threatened with a rifle. The officer asked that Juárez and his wife follow him “in case” they “needed to ID the person who had the rifle”. Juárez wrote that the person who had brandished the rifle was not among the vehicles that were stopped on shoulder of the freeway.

Eventually, as you all know by the news media reports, the convoy was escorted outside of the city limits by El Paso Police officers.

It is gratifying that El Paso came together and let the Border Convoy know that the El Paso community welcomes and supports immigrants who ultimately represent the values of the United States.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

16 replies on “El Paso Comes Together in Support of Immigrant Children: Expels Border Convoy from City”

  1. Martin,

    You are way off base on your assessment of the Border Convoy.

    You describe them as extremists, xenophobic (the fancy word for racists) frauds who spin reality. The “facts” you use to back up your statements are wrong. The Border Convoy states its main purpose support of secure borders and enforcement of laws. How you extrapolate “racist” from these statements, I cannot comprehend. You can disagree with them and with their belief that government policies created the border crisis, but that does not make them racists. In your communication with the Border Convoy, you cite the fact that cartels would never surround a motel as stated. Well, you’re the one who said a cartel surrounded the motel. The Border Convoy states early in their blog entry that cartel members were watching the hotel and the armed men who came to the door were with Operation Secure Our Border, not cartel members. Is it possible there are cartel members in Van Horn? You better believe it’s possible. You also are wrong when you say the Border Convoy lied about where they stayed in Van Horn. There is an EconoLodge, which used to be a Comfort Inn in Van Horn. They are in the same family of hotels, Choice Hotels. You also state that El Paso has come out against the Border Convoy. Unless you’ve polled everyone in El Paso, that statement is totally false. I could go on, but do not have the time.

    I’ve defended you and your right to state your opinion, whether you can prove what you say or not. I’ve been a regular reader of your blog but those days are over. After reading your comments on the Border Convoy — a few facts and a lot of fiction — I would never be able to give your opinions on other subjects proper respect.

    1. Balmorhea,

      Thank you for your comments and I am sorry to see you go. Unfortunately that is the nature of expressing an opinion in that individuals may get upset. Immigration is a very polarizing topic full of emotion. However I just want to clear up some misconceptions.

      You write that I “describe them as extremists, xenophobic”. I reread my post from yesterday, which is where I used the word “xenophobic”. What I wrote is “as an anti-immigration group, I am not surprised to see its membership partly comprised by extremist xenophobic citizens looking to shut down all immigration into the United States.”. I specifically wrote “partly comprised of” because I understand the whole group is not xenophobic, or as you write “racist”. However, we should be able to agree that some of the group is comprised of racist individuals. To be clear I did not write the entire group was racist.

      In regards to the cartels at least two governmental agencies – the sheriff’s department and the Texas State Troopers have said they lied about the incident. I never wrote that cartels are not active in Van Horn. However I did take exception to their description of what transpired at the hotel. Finally, although I may be wrong I do not think I’ve commented about the Comfort Inn.

      As for polling everyone in El Paso, you are right however I’m expressing an opinion about how I perceive the general sentiment of the city.

      The reason I called them liars is because they are using lies to create an erroneous perception of the border in order to sway public opinion. We may disagree on immigration but I believe we can all agree that making an informed decision about immigration should be based on factual information instead of sensationalized made up events. You would rightly take exception if I wrote a blog saying that Mexicans pay more in property taxes in El Paso because of CEMEX. We both know that is not an accurate description and you would rightly point out my dishonesty in writing that statement.

      The Border Convoy lied about the events at Van Horn. That has been documented by at least two government sources and, in my opinion, common sense.

      Although I would like for you to continue participating on my blog I understand that my opinion may not be palatable to you, or many others. As an immigrant myself I am going to begin focusing more on immigration and I believe you and I will disagree on that topic most of the time. However, your comments on the subject would be welcome anyway.

      Best wishes,

      1. Thank you for your reasonable reply. Your blog is better than most because your responses are civil. You are right that you do not mention the Comfort Inn. That is mentioned in the Bud Kennedy column, from which you got some information in your comments. Bud Kennedy talked to the sheriff in Van Horn and asked him if an armed group of cartel members had surrounded a motel. The sheriff answered that he would have known about that if it occurred. The truth is that no one ever said there was an armed group of cartel members. So when the sheriff says it didn’t happen, he’s saying that what Bud Kennedy stated did not happen. The sheriff proceeded to give his own opinion, again no facts.

        I believe people have the right to express themselves and believe what they chose as long as they are within the law. I would never join a group like Border Convoy because I do not agree with them. I respect their right to express their opinion, just as this blog does. You base your comments primarily on one person’s story, which could be true, could be partly true, or could be totally false. I have to assume the El Paso police came to the same conclusion. You have to have concrete evidence or additional witnesses to file charges. Maybe Border Convoy’s claim that they were being followed was also false. The point is, that none of us knows and Bud Kennedy doesn’t know either. This is an emotional issue that is made worse when one person’s story is considered fact.

        You have “jumped the shark” on this topic (Google “jumping the shark” if you’re not sure what I mean). This is about credibility.

  2. I had not heard of this courageous group’s latest exploits till I read about them in yesterday’s post. The last I had heard they were involved in some imaginary war with school-aged children out in California. Went and read Bud Kennedy’s take on them in Forth Worth newspaper, he too calls them liars.

    Sounds more like a modern day dime novel, yarns of wild, wild west adventures. A patriotic convoy going to an imaginary rally, to valiantly protect the Norte Americanos from an imaginary invasion. After receiving many imaginary life threats, the convoy is escorted out of an imaginary war zone by the EPPD to the next town. Here they hole-up in an imaginary hotel but then they get surrounded by an imaginary cartel. Finally an imaginary posse comes to their rescue.

    And the money for these brave souls will more than likely be pouring into
    their coffer.

    Kudos to Martinez, Juarez and the others that were with them.

    1. You also are wrong. Comfort Inn/EconoLodge is not an imaginary hotel. The address is 1601 Broadway, Van Horn, Texas. Look it up. Do not believe what you read in Bud Kennedy’s column. I can refute everything he says. His is an opinion piece. It’s dangerous to believe everything you read in an opinion piece. If you want the truth do not go to blogs or opinions. Look for facts.

      1. @balmorhea
        While he may not have used Xenophobic he did use “Hate Group”…
        So, he applauds infringing on the rights of US citizens (free speech and assembly), but sees no problem in providing Tax-Payer paid vacations to illegal aliens. Makes me realize which side is unreasonable, intractable, radicalized and antagonistic — and it is not the Border Convoy.
        Thanks for your comments.

      2. Refute all you want, I stand by the dime-novel analogy based on the antics of this convoy. You find them admirable, I find them comical.

        When you opt to go public with your cause you open yourself to all manner of criticism, and the reader interprets how she/he understands it. So it is in your interest (for your cause) to be forthcoming when questioned. A series of questions was posed to the spokes person of the convoy and he chose not to answer except for some short comments. He proceeded to label the blogger a media hack because after all, better to name call then reply. Unwilling or unable to answer to the specifics of their cause, I see it as the exploitation of a situation for self-aggrandizement. Securing the border is not the convoy’s job. Securing the border from a non-existing war is way off the wall.

        They are making all kinds of noise about ‘an invasion‘ and other exaggerations that only serve to incite the Norte Americanos into a frenzy and false delusions of being attacked. As we know from the past, you get those Norte Americanos in that state of mind and off they go invading (here I mean really invading) and plundering and killing and destroying sovereign countries. And any nation/people that they have been indoctrinated to dislike or see as inferior will do to satiate their sanguinary cravings.

        By the way, I thought you were taking your toys and going home, or was that Bud Kennedy opining?

  3. Peppers is glad that someone has the cajones to stand up to the illegal invasion of our country. It sure isn’t our government.

  4. Could you imagine Martin’s outrage if millions of trailer park white trash invaded Mexico illegally. Except Mexico has better control of its borders that the US from the outside.

  5. Martin,
    so a group that wants border security, claims to receive a death threat if they stop in El Paso. They try to drive through El Paso but end up getting followed by someone who’s intent they do not know. That person makes claims as outrageous as the convoy but again, nothing is substantiated.
    In my opinion, based on your quote “Rosemary P. Martinez, who was actively involved in stopping the convoy from delivering their hate has graciously accepted to share with us her first person account of what happened. Miguel Juárez who was the second driver in the incident….” these two are the antagonists. They should have stayed at the L&J.
    No charges filed, no weapons found, no credibility on your part sir!
    Speculation, Hearsay, Rumor……… and you call yourself a journalist?

    Stick to stories about garbage pickup. You’re good at that!

  6. The Texas Tribune reports on what happened this afternoon in McAllen.

    Protestors against the Border Convoy “antagonized the convoy’s members, calling them ‘toothless rednecks’ who were not welcome in McAllen.

    Jackelin Treviño, a community organizer, conceded that both sides lost their cool.

    ‘Our goal was to make sure that the media knows that people in the Rio Grande Valley do not condone the convoy’s presence,” she said. “They are not welcome here if they are sharing messages of hatred and violence and of aggression.’

    Some valley residents, though, said they agreed with the convoy’s message.

    ‘I am here not just for myself but for the future of my kids,” said Gabriela Alejandra Marquez, 28. “[Illegal immigration] is a slap in the face for those who came here legally, came here the right way – like my father. My father is from Zacatecas and he busted his butt working very hard to save every single penny to come here and live the American dream and he succeeded.'”

    By standards set by this blog and others who jump to conclusions, we are allowed to generalize about a group by the behavior of one person. If one person called the Border Convoy “toothless rednecks” I conclude that all who oppose the Border Convoy agree with this stereotype. This stereotype is to me as hateful as calling someone a “lazy wetback.” Therefore, I must be allowed to conclude that those who oppose the Border Convoy are mongering hate.

    Can’t we all get along, folks? This is the greatest nation in the world. We are all incredibly lucky to be born here or have moved here. Once the crisis of the children has been dealt with, I hope this issue can be dealt with in a reasonable way. But, I have little hope that it will when I read what is on this blog and other places. God help us all.

  7. 3-4 people, from El Paso, does not constitute the entire city. Rosemary is a known racist and institigator of friction against those that not brown skinned, black hair and brown eyes. She loves the limelight. But, she is yesterday’s has been drama queen. Miguel, unfortunately is nothing but her lap dog.

    These two have been the most active in creating friction among the races, setting back civil rights several years and developed a bad image of El Paso.

    There was never any proof of the gun allegations and resulted in the two clowns being charged with filing a false report. The liars will do or say anything to grab he limelight.

    I, too will stop reading your blog because this particular piece is biased and vert misleading.

  8. Immigration, if we’re honest, is a difficult topic to deal with. It has many facets and there is no one simple solution.

    One thing, I would like to see is an improvement in the quality of governments to our south. Many countries in Latin America have conditions that are so horrible that a situation is created where so many people leave their homes to come here. If conditions at home weren’t so bad, many of these people would choose not to leave their families and homes behind to come here.

    I hope there comes a time when Mexico and the countries of Central America improve the conditions for their citizens. I hope that the citizens of these countries will work to hold their own governments accountable for conditions at home. I hope that the US will see immigration not only as a domestic policy concern, but one of foreign policy as well. Working to improve conditions to our south would help alleviate the exodus of immigrants from there. People could enjoy quality of life in their respective countries of origin.

  9. Many countries in Latin America have conditions that are so horrible that a situation is created where so many people leave their homes to come here.
    Vegas; I couldn’t agree more, and the USA helped make them that way with generations of gunboat diplomacy to prop up power elites and dictatorships. Remember the Contras and Ollie North?

    Wouldn’t it be great if Mexico were prosperous and independent enough to have an attitude? “OK, Yanquis, maybe we’ll export some tequila your way. Maybe not.”

  10. Yes, Rotten Peppers, I for one, would raise a glass of tequila to a prosperous Mexico. Better yet, make mine a sotol.

    While this maybe above my pay grade, I feel your post misses the mark a bit. Yes, the US has implemented policy around the globe has been detrimental (it does so within its own borders too). However, Mexico and all of Latin America would be better served by holding their own governments accountable rather than blame the “Yanquis”. I think this is the theme of readers–we are best served when we hold our own governments accountable. Whether it’s a ballpark served up by a tyrannical local council or whether it’s a government that props up cartels within their borders, we must step up and say “basta”. This is a philosophy that we adopted when this country was formed. We changed the notion that the populous were not subjects but rather citizens–with “inalienable rights”. We understood that governments and their leaders had great power but that power also came with responsibility. Their power needed to be hedged so that we would not be oppressed. Tyranny comes in many forms but rarely does it come immediately. Tyranny usually sneaks upon a nation.

  11. Yet once again, there is an automatic assumption that this couple’s ” first hand witness ” testimony is automatically truth. I saw the video and also know first hand that they are lying about what happened. And so would you, if you took the time to actually view… As anyone else could… the video footage. It shows the black pick up come up alongside the RV driving so close it causes the RV to go very close to the median on the inside… and then the truck begins to squeeze itself between the RV and lead car. Then it shows it slowing down. To almost stopping. The lead car moves out of the lane and goes over 2 lanes toward the center… To get away from thentruck. The RV by then, not only has slowed down to stay away, but has called 911 to report irractic driving by the truck. This is all on the video! In minutes.. The police are behind the RV and the lead car ( 2 lanes over) and are pulling them over and they have no idea why… And the truck is pulling over… The passenger of the RV, out now, is trying to get the police to go get the truck driver before they leave… Still puzzled as to how the police arrived so quickly AND here walks up a news guy with a camera… All prepared as well! And this is before there would have been normal time for them to have responded to the RV’s original 811 call!

    Why? It was a set up… Which, when the police saw the video themselves, agreed. The RV was not escorted out because they were the trouble makers, but because the police realized the whole thing had been planned, arrested the man and woman ( there are 2 arrest citation numbers if you bothered to check) for causing the situation including the fwy stoppage and the escort WAS for the convoys safety. You discredit yourself when you don’t bother to at least tell the truth about something so easily investigated. That part is NOT opinion but fact. The convoy did receive threats and that was not made up.. Again a fact you could have checked on a very public Facebook site set up by a group to boycott the convoy. It had posted the entire itinerary, told groups where to go, times, what to bring, and people posted what was taken as legitimate threats if the convoy showed up.
    Why will you mock that and deny these very public and easily proven facts? It’s one thing to dispute attitudes or ideas, but these things are indisputable facts!

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